Reading chairman: We won't break bank to keep stars

Reading chairman John Madejski insists they're right not to cave into the new contract demands of stars Nicky Shorey and Leroy Lita.

He told the Reading Chronicle: "Water always finds its own level and we'll just have to wait and see what happens with them.

"I think a lot depends on how they perform for us this season. If they're not going to sign new contracts they're going to have to perform extremely well to guarantee being picked up by other clubs.

"But we've made them what we believe are very good offers and there's not much else we can do."

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The situation is nothing new to Reading. A year ago Steve Sidwell rejected a new deal then played out the final year of his contract before switching to Chelsea in the summer.

Madejski admitted: "They've made their minds up and that's just part of football. There's no point in me getting all bitter and twisted about it.

"They've both played at the top level now and I suppose you could say they're emerging talents."

But he stressed: "We can't pay and we won't pay the kind of wages you see at other clubs. I've always pointed out we're not Manchester United with 80,000 attendances every week. We're going to be hard pressed to get 38,000 people into our ground when the building work is complete.

"But I think we need to take that step in order to do the best we can in the future. We've come a long way in a short space of time.

"This is a great club and we have a great manager, people should remember that. Last season was incredible, but we also believe we can do it again.

"People talk about second season syndrome but I don't go along with that. Staying in the Premier League is a struggle every year.

"To do as well as last season would be amazing because we spent the whole of it in the top-half of the table.

"That was an extraordinary achievement and the challenge ahead is to maintain that standard with what I believe is a stronger squad this time around."

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